The ivory lighthouse (2019 Re-post)

Re-post comment:
Time for another Wandering the Archives Wednesday. Today’s been filled with writing stories. So I decided to share one of the first I wrote in poetry form.

Pharos ~ The Lighthouse, Kerry O’Connor, @skyloverpoetry

I

Hurt beyond measure
Faith in humanity utterly lost
She decided to seek solitude
The soothing presence of the seas endless swells
Mist that obscures everything
The cries of seabirds

II

High in the tower snug with a roaring blaze in the hearth
At peace thou outside the winter storms
Wailing presence around her shutters
Safe among her books and scrolls
Content with the rhythmic beacon-light sweep
Reassured by the mourning foghorn sound
Winter swells are not for sailing

III

Then suddenly cries and shouts
Running feet on the stairs
They don’t disturb her at first
The running of the tower, light and horn are the servants
hers the contemplating solitude

IV

The storm has brought a shipwreck
The vessel all in splinters
Among the swells dead sailors
Only one survivor
They call on her to use her healing skill
She mends his bones, tends bruises and sores with salves

V

Once he awakens, she finds a pair of honest eyes
A heart open to life’s joy
A curious mind ready to soar
In her heart she feels an igniting spark
Two lonely souls together for the solstice
Who knows what they have to share
During all those winter months, isolated until spring

© REDCAT


Had a busy week and weekend. Celebrated birthday. Went to a concert and out salsa dancing. Gave myself some time off blogging to enjoy other things in life and not stress out about views.
This is written for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads ~ Art FLASH! / 55 in December. Already Sunday evening here, but if possible I’ll try to write something in the 55 form also. A third poem appeared in my head and made this weeks contribution to Pantry of Poetry and Prose.

December Moon – A prayer (2019 Re-post)

Photo by Joonas kääriäinen from Pexels

30th December 2020
Tonight’s the last full moon of 2020. The Wolf Moon. The Elder Moon. The Moon of long midwinter nights.

Re-posting a poem from last year. This one made it into my Book of Shadows! :-)


Long night moon, last light
before midwinter
Lend your shine
to the crown on the maiden
Guide her steps
as she seeks the shadow hidden self

Wolf moon, silver light
upon dark lands
Lend your clear sight
to the eyes of the mother
Guide her hands
as she steers her den and pups through winter

Elder moon, eternal light
keeper of mysteries
Lend your divine wisdom
to the heart of the crone
Guide her words
as she teaches the young and prepare to move on

© REDCAT

2019
Written for this years last full moon on December 12th.

Also posted to Pantry of Poetry and Prose #8 at Poets United.

Rolf Dietrich Brecher from Germany [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Solstice prayer – 21 December (2019 Re-post)

© RedCat

I burn this so it may die within me
Leaving fertile ashes
where new life-pattern can grow

I burn this to signify re-birth
To give the seeds sown space
and nourishment to grow

I burn this to signify my Will set
Writing my pain,
Finding peace
Dancing with soul
Showing passion
Self-loving in heart
Accepting philia

© REDCAT

Written for the solstice ritual of 2019.

The unusual and artistic image below, made using a technique known as “solargraphy” in which a pinhole camera captures the movement of the Sun in the sky over many months, was taken from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope on the plateau of Chajnantor.
Read more on the linked source page.

Dark moon of the crone – 15 December (2019 Re-post)

Leatask [CC BY 4.0]

Soon the dark moon of the crone is upon us
Time to face mortality
Time to bury the old
Time to celebrate rebirth
The kingdom of heaven is built upon love
Be brave of heart if that’s your aim
Humans often prefer known fears
Over an open heart vulnerable to deceit

© REDCAT

Had a week and weekend full of celebrating birth, contemplating death, and the possibility of rebirth. So all my three posts this weekend belong in the same theme. The Ivory Lighthouse, Cold Moon.
Also posted to Poets United ~ Pantry of Poetry and Prose #7.

Photo by invisiblepower from Pexels

Cold Moon – 12 December (2019 Re-post)

Kolforn (Wikimedia) [CC BY-SA 4.0]

Preparations for the last full moon abounds
Where we let the Midwinter darkness fall
Then light return with a fair singing maiden
Her clear voice and it’s adoration turns our eyes upon the star
It’s light compelling us to contemplate
the birth-death-rebirth of the fisher king
Yearly reminder to shed the old and start anew

© REDCAT

Where I grew up. A several hundreds year old small, pre-steam industrial-mining-farm-wood-lakes town. Folklore still ran deep even in the 1980s.

So, I grew up with Lucia vigil. It’s a tradition dating back to when Lucia occurred on midwinter, the origin might be somewhere in the pre-christian era, but it is known from the 15th and 16th century. Meaning before Sweden switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1753.

As Midwinter is the opposite point of the year from Midsummer the veil between the worlds where thin, and you kept vigil to keep harmful spirits away and to celebrate and greet the light of a new year in form of a fair singing maiden with light in her hair.

“The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak. ”
Wikipedia

As a teenager and young adult, no real adult found a problem with us staying out late at discos and parties. As long as some of us (nearly, girls only) also showed up in the early morning hours, clear eyed and sweet voiced to carry lights in our hair or hands singing hymns to Lucia and Light re-born.


Written for Kerry’s prompt on Real Toads ~ Art FLASH! / 55 in December.
55 words without the title.
Read my first contribution to this double feature prompt here.

Midwinter Love – A Landay Poem, 11 December (2019 Re-post)

©RedCat

Outside the white winter ice-cold
Inside the warm fiery Viking by Freya foretold

Longhouse cools as fire turn to embers
Passion ignites as skin touches skin below the furs

Midwinter winds whines around the thatch
As the warrior finds the shield-maidens lust his heart’s match

© REDCAT
Wikimedia Commons

Written for Sannas’s prompt ~ May the fire in our hearts keep burning as though there is no end ~ Our challenge is to write a Landay (or a series of Landai) on a subject matter of our liking.
“It’s a traditional Afghan form which consists of a single couplet. 
There are nine syllables in the first line and thirteen syllables in the second. These short poems typically address themes of love, grief, homeland, war, and separation.”

There was also a link to this very interesting article ~ Landays.

I will definitely experience more with this form
and read more about the subject!

Tomten Wonders – A Golden Shovel Poem Inspired by Viktor Rydberg, 10 December

©Jonas Norén

Holy Midwinter Night
Your long dark cold is hard
Lonely stars sparkle and shimmer
Dream dust glimmer on all sleeping
In house and barn, the dog in the lonely yard
Lending light to inky night, hours deep
Think toiling late into midnight hours

Vigil kept by the Moon
Bathed in her silver boon, as she wanders her silent whir
Midwinter night, when the snow glows white
painting on pine and fir
Inky shadows and bright light, as snow glows white
Shimmering stars on roof thatch
All dreaming, only Tomten keeps watch

In the snowy night all is silent
Gaia sleeping is
White blanket over wood and plain
Hiding all life
Snug in barrows, as out there
All is still, all is frozen

Slowly from afar only
The murmur of the waterfall
Dreamt as much as heard
Winters death as slow soughing

To thrumming of deep meaning Tomten listens,
half awake and half in a dream
Midwinter Night’s eternal seem
Giving visions to hear
The ebb and flow, life’s echo, of the eternal time stream

Tomten wonders,
from where life came and where it’s going
Tomten wonders,
if Gods or humans where the source
of where the world is is flowing

©RedCat


I had a different vision. But the influence of Tomten was undeniable. And I felt the kind, caring gaze of the farmwifes of my childhood. Living in just that type of isolated farm. Learning me old folktales mostly forgot.
They would have smiled at my folly. Hugged me. And told me, if I put myself in the attention of the unseen, I’d best be willing to pay my due.
So, I sent a message via my muse that all I wanted was to share the wonder of Midwinter, to give Tomten his chance to deep brooding and rest. Without all those Lutheran work ethic lessons.

The poem is a Golden Shovel. The last words of each line are, in order, words from a line or lines taken, another poem. For my piece I choose the first and the penultimate verse of Tomten by Viktor Rydberg. I started with translating them, since I found no translation I thought good enough. Below you’ll find those two verses.

Midwinternight’s cold is hard
Stars sparkle and shimmer
All sleeping in the lonely yard
Deep into midnight hours
The Moon wanders her silent whir
The snow glows white on pine and fir
Snow glows white on roof thatch
Only tomten keeps watch

Silent is wood and plain, all
life out there is frozen
From afar only the waterfall
Heard as slow soughing
Tomten listens, and half in a dream
seem to hear the eternal time stream
Wonders, where it’s going
Wonders, where the source is flowing

©Viktor Rydberg, first published in 1881. Translated by RedCat

Notes on the text

After untold hours reading I decided to keep the Swedish word Tomte. Even Astrid Lindgrens prose version from 1961 is titled “The Tomten”.
Simply because there is no equivalent in English. Tomten is neither gnome, goblin, elf or Robin Goodfellow as in this old translation. Tomten might be mischievous or outright revengeful if treated badly. But mostly he was seen as part of the place, a valued knowledgeable farmer, a paragon of Lutheran work ethics.

Today we see Tomten with a red cap, but Tomten of old was not so garishly dressed – then everyone would have seen him all the time.
The poems second verse start with – “Stands there so gray by the barn door, gray against the white drift”

There is also the word Nisse, which today is much conflated with Santa’s Elves.
Anyhow, a Nisse was so to speak, never the Tomte in charge on a farm, at least in Sweden.

Also linking to Open Link #280 – LIVE! at dVerse.

Searching For A Way – 8 December

Photo by Nikhlesh Tyagi from Pexels

Searching for a way
For the right words to say
I long for the dawn of a new day

Searching for a new life
Passionate, loving, without strife
Filled with strobing nightlife
Abundant wildlife

Searching for a new dream
Asking guidance of a moonbeam
For the path where creativity teem

©RedCat

Right now life feels small, cold and lonely for many, and for me. So I tried for some hope, light and life in today’s Advent Calendar poem.

The midwinter darkness has felt exte oppressive lately. The unseasonable warmth keeps the skies grey and foggy rather than the crisp, nipping, sunny air the season should have (unless there’s snowfall of course).
Today I read that the instruments in Stockholm and several other cities have measured ZERO sunhours in December.

So a warming climate makes the winter darkness more oppressive, by denying us the few hours of sunlight, robbing us off the white cover, starving us from reflected moonlight. A full moon can make a clear snowy December night brighter than an overcast December midday.

Some days I have hope for a new spring, perhaps next summer without a pandemic looming. A world coming together on the pandemic and the climate.
Other days, when the sun has not been seen for more than a week. I feel cold desolation, touch deprivation and failing hope. A world gone to smoking cinders, cascading ecological disaster, all ending in an egotistic whimper.

Not knowing to hope or despair, over the fact that the human race has its destiny in its own hands.



The road might be long and windy,
but with will and intention
we can make the journey the point,
not an unforeseeable future goal.
©RedCat

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